I practically grew up in family vegetable gardens since before I can remember. Both sets of my grandparents had large “family gardens.” Mama’s parents planted enough of a variety of vegetables for themselves, my aunt’s family, and Mama’s family, as well as some truck farming. Papaw Holley planted acres of purple hull peas and hired help to pick them so he could sell them out of the back of his truck under some shady tree in the nearby town. Papaw Chandler planted plenty of the wide variety of food for several aunts and uncle and their families. If there was something to be picked when we were there, we helped pick and shell or shuck at the Holley’s, while we were only allowed to shell or shuck at the Chandler’s. When the grandparents slowed down in age Daddy planted our own family garden and we shared with them.
After I married and left home Roy and I gardened some, but it was very different when its survival depended on us knowing what was necessary to make it grow and produce. I was surprised at how much I didn’t know and how much I kept having to ask for advice or instructions. I learned there is a big difference between following instructions and knowing what to do on my own. Well, here it is a few decades later, and even though Daddy still planted a little garden this spring I thought I would like to plant a couple of raised beds for a few tomatoes, squash, zucchini, egg plant, potatoes, and okra. A few days ago I was looking under the squash leaves for squash bug eggs as I had for days, just the way Daddy showed me; plenty of time to kill them before they hatched. There were these tiny dark bugs everywhere on those leaves! Daddy confirmed my worst fears. It was baby squash bugs. Somehow I had missed the adult bugs and the eggs. I was overwhelmed! When I asked Daddy what to do, he told me how I need to literally root the adults out from the base of the plant and kill them as well as kill all those baby bugs. He say “the old timers” used to say that the only way to get rid of an adult squash bug is between two bricks; meaning they are hard backed and hard to kill. I had my work cut out for me.
I think that’s the way things are in life some times. It can be anything really; backed up housework, school work, yard projects, sin that seems easy to ignore dealing with, or most anything that’s easier to allow to coast for a time. If the issue isn’t dealt with in the beginning of it, it may take some time or not but eventually we will have to deal with it. Tackling the issue in the beginning is so much easier even if it is a hard thing than if we allow it to grow or spread. Then the issue can overwhelm us until we can’t see how we can possible do anything about it. Monumental is a word Mama used to use; I think that fits when I neglect something I need to deal with. The squash bug issue became monumental to conquer to me. I think God was able to teach me something through that, and pointed out some issues that have grown that I need to direct my attention to. I see squash bug annihilation in my very near future in more ways than one. Time ahead of me will be busy, but with God’s forgiveness, wisdom, and grace I will do what needs to be done.
Have a very blessed week my friends.